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Left Reformism

A Diary of Labour Government

 Here in Great Britain, about twenty-seven years ago, there was a sharp difference of opinion. There were those who held that there was but one cause of working-class poverty, and one only, and but one way to end it. These formed the Socialist Party of Great Britain, with the aim and object of capturing political power and achieving Socialism. There were others who denounced this as a dream, too far removed from present needs to be practicable. What was wanted, they said, was something now, something tangible, something realisable, something which we could see in our time. These supported immediate reforms, palliatives, and the Labour Party. They have been wonderfully fortunate. In a mere twenty-five years they have achieved their practical object and seated a Labour Government in Parliament.

Editorial: Maxton and Cook's Catchwords

The recent manifesto by James Maxton (Chairman of the I.L.P.) and A. J. Cook (Miners’ Secretary) has received much notice in the Press, but only of a sensational kind.
 
The manifesto calls for a fight against the Capitalist system, but both the signers are supporters of the Labour Party, which has done its best to maintain and carry on the Capitalist system.
 
They claim that there has been a serious departure from the views of the founders of the Labour Party, such as Keir Hardie, but no evidence of that is offered or can be offered.

Words and Deeds

  “The time for words is past: now is the time for action.” This is an indispensable aid to the Labour speaker. Introduced with fervour at an appropriate moment by one of the "Billy Sundays” of the movement it never fails to bring the roof down. Any novice at a loss for something useful to say, on any Labour platform, in any quarter of the globe, can depend upon it for “loud and prolonged applause.” The effect of its delivery to an open-mouthed audience of several thousands in the Albert Hall, by that platform acrobat, Tom Mann, is truly wonderful. Don’t imagine, however, that it is something new. George Lansbury has been saying it as regularly as clockwork for twenty years for more; Tom Mann is now over seventy, and it must have been a commonplace with him in his early twenties; and no doubt Moses, by whom he sets his course, was hurling it at the murmuring Israelites in Egypt and in the Desert.

Editorial: "But Humbly Regret —"

      “The Labour Party stands pledged to the Right to Work as a fundamental principle, and every member is in honour bound to do all he can to fulfil the pledge.”

 So says the official organ of the Independent Labour Party on Feb. 17th, in the midst of a wail that only thirty of the Labour M.P.s (including the tellers) supported the Right to Work amendment, while one of them actually voted against it.

Why did the Labour members hesitate to support their “fundamental principle”? Why did they not dare move an amendment to the Address, nor introduce their “fundamental principle” in the last Parliament?

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